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Archived Manual Chapter: BIG-IP Administrator guide v3.1: Monitoring and administration utilities provided on the BIG/ip Controller
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9

Monitoring and Administration



Monitoring and administration utilities provided on the BIG/ip Controller

The BIG/ip platform provides several utilities for monitoring and administration of the BIG/ip Controller. You can monitor system statistics, as well as statistics specific to virtual servers and nodes, such as the number of current connections, and the number of packets processed since the last reboot.

The BIG/ip platform provides the following monitoring and configuration and administration utilities:

  • BIG/pipe
    If you type certain BIG/pipe commands, such as bigpipe vip or bigpipe node, and use the show keyword in the command, the command displays statistical information about the elements that you configure using that command. You can also use bigpipe commands to selectively reset any statistic collected by the BIG/ip Controller.
  • The F5 Configuration utility
    You can use the F5 Configuration utility to configure any feature on the BIG/ip Controller. You can reset any statistic, or all statistics, for virtual servers, nodes, NATs, and SNATs in the F5 Configuration utility.
  • BIG/stat
    This utility is provided specifically for statistical monitoring of virtual servers, nodes, NATs, SNATs, and services. One benefit of using BIG/stat is that it allows you to customize the display of statistical information.
  • BIG/top
    BIG/top provides statistical monitoring. You can set a refresh interval, and you can specify a sort order.
  • Syslog
    Syslog is the standard UNIX system logging utility, which monitors critical system events, as well as configuration changes made on the BIG/ip Controller.
  • BIG/db
    BIG/db is a database that contains various configuration information for the BIG/ip Controller.

Using the BIG/pipe command utility as a monitoring tool

Using the BIG/pipe utility, you can view information about the BIG/ip Controller itself, as well as elements such as virtual servers, virtual addresses, virtual ports, nodes, and node addresses. Typically, the BIG/pipe utility provides the following statistics:

  • Current number of connections
  • Maximum number of concurrent connections
  • Total number of connections since the last system reboot
  • Total number of bits (inbound, outbound, total)
  • Total number of packets (inbound, outbound, total)

Monitoring the BIG/ip Controller

The bigpipe summary command displays performance statistics for the BIG/ip Controller itself. This display summary includes current usage statistics, such as the amount of time a BIG/ip Controller has been running since the last reboot. Type the following command:

  bigpipe summary

The performance statistics display in the format shown in Figure 9.1 (the output has been truncated for this example).

Figure 9.1 The BIG/pipe summary display screen

 BIG/ip total uptime           = 1 (day) 4 (hr) 40 (min) 8 (sec)
BIG/ip total uptime (secs) = 103208
BIG/ip total # connections = 0
BIG/ip total # pkts = 0
BIG/ip total # bits = 0
BIG/ip total # pkts(inbound) = 0
BIG/ip total # bits(inbound) = 0
BIG/ip total # pkts(outbound) = 0
BIG/ip total # bits(outbound) = 0
BIG/ip error no nodes available = 0
BIG/ip tcp port deny = 0
BIG/ip udp port deny = 0
BIG/ip vip tcp port deny = 0
BIG/ip vip udp port deny = 0
BIG/ip max connections deny = 0
BIG/ip vip duplicate syn ssl = 0
BIG/ip vip duplicate syn wrong dest = 0
BIG/ip vip duplicate syn node down = 0
BIG/ip vip maint mode deny = 0
BIG/ip virtual addr max connections deny = 0
BIG/ip virtual path max connections deny = 0
BIG/ip vip non syn = 0
BIG/ip error not in out table = 0
BIG/ip error not in in table = 0
BIG/ip error vip fragment no port = 0
BIG/ip error vip fragment no conn = 0
BIG/ip error standby shared drop = 0
BIG/ip dropped inbound = 0
BIG/ip dropped outbound = 0
BIG/ip reaped = 0
BIG/ip ssl reaped = 0
BIG/ip persist reaped = 0
BIG/ip udp reaped = 0
BIG/ip malloc errors = 0
BIG/ip bad type = 0
BIG/ip mem pool total 96636758 mem pool used 95552 mem percent used 0.10

Table 9.1 contains descriptions of each individual statistic included in the summary display screen.

BIG/pipe monitoring statistics

Statistic Description
total uptime Total time elapsed since the BIG/ip Controller was last booted.
total uptime (secs) Total uptime displayed in seconds.
total # connections Total number of connections handled.
total # pkts Total number of packets handled.
total # bits Total number of bits handled.
total # pkts (inbound) Total number of incoming packets handled.
total # bits (inbound) Total number of incoming bits handled.
total # pkts (outbound) Total number of outgoing packets handled.
total # bits (outbound) Total number of outgoing bits handled.
error no nodes available The number of times the BIG/ip Controller tries to make a connection to a node, but no nodes are available.
tcp port deny The number of times a client attempted to connect to an unauthorized TCP port on the BIG/ip Controller (unauthorized port and source IP are logged in the syslog).
udp port deny The number of times a client attempted to connect to an unauthorized UDP port on the BIG/ip Controller (unauthorized port and source IP are logged in the syslog).
vip tcp port deny The number of times a client attempted to connect to an unauthorized TCP port on a virtual address (unauthorized port and source IP are logged in the syslog).
vip udp port deny The number of times a client attempted to connect to an unauthorized UDP port on a virtual address (unauthorized port and source IP are logged in the syslog).
max connections deny The total number of connections denied because the maximum number of connections allowed was exceeded.
vip duplicate syn ssl The number of duplicate connection attempts to existing SSL connections from the same client.
vip duplicate syn wrong dest The number of duplicate connection attempts from the same client (address and port combination) to a different virtual server.
vip duplicate syn node down The number of duplicate connection attempts to a server that is down when a connection to the server was made previously.
vip maint mode deny The number of times a connection to a virtual server was denied while the BIG/ip Controller is in maintenance mode.
virtual addr max connections deny The number of virtual address connections dropped because the maximum number of connections was exceeded.
virtual path max connections deny The number of virtual path connections dropped because the maximum number of connections was exceeded.
vip non syn The number of packets received which are not connection requests, and are destined to a virtual address, but not a valid virtual server (port).
error vip fragment no port The number of IP fragments for which there is no port.
error vip fragment no conn The number of IP fragments for which there is no connection.
error standby shared drop The number of packets destined to the shared IP address in a redundant system that are received and ignored by the standby system.
dropped inbound The total number of inbound packets dropped by the BIG/ip Controller.
dropped outbound The total number of outbound packets dropped by the BIG/ip Controller.
reaped The total number of connections that timed-out, and are deleted by the BIG/ip Controller.
ssl reaped The total number of SSL session ID records that timed-out, and are closed by the BIG/ip Controller.
persist reaped The total number of persistence records that timed-out, and are closed by the BIG/ip Controller.
udp reaped The total number of UDP connections that timed-out, and are closed by the BIG/ip Controller.
malloc errors The number of times a connection could not be created because the system is low on memory.
mem pool total The total amount of memory available in all combined memory pools.
mem pool used The total amount of memory, in all combined memory pools, in use by the BIG/ip Controller.
mem percent used The total percentage of memory in use by all combined memory pools.

Resetting statistics on the BIG/ip Controller

The bigpipe commands allow you to selectively reset any statistic on the BIG/ip Controller. The statistics you can reset selectively include:

  • Virtual address
  • Virtual server
  • Node address
  • Node server
  • Virtual port
  • Network address translations (NATs)
  • Global statistics

    When you reset one of these items, the packets in, packets out, bytes in, and bytes out counters of the target item are reset to zero. The max connection count counter is also reset. The current connections counter is not reset and the total connections counter is set equal to the number of current connections.

Note: The statistics are reset for the specified items only. Statistics for dependent items, such as node servers for a given virtual address, are not modified by these commands. The only exception is the global statistics reset option which resets traffic statistics for all items. After an item-level reset, statistics for all other dependent items do not add up.

You can create an audit trail for reset events by setting an optional system control variable. You can set this variable to generate a syslog log entry. To set this variable, type the following command:

  sysctl -w bigip.verbose_log_level=4

Resetting statistics for virtual servers and virtual addresses

Use the following syntax to reset statistics for the virtual address specified by the IP address <virtual ip>.

  bigpipe vip <virtual ip> stats reset

For example, if you want to reset statistics for the virtual address 172.20.1.100, type the following command:

  bigpipe vip 172.20.1.100 stats reset

If you want to reset statistics for a list of virtual addresses, type the command with a list of addresses separated by spaces:

  bigpipe vip 172.20.1.100 172.20.1.101 172.20.1.102 stats reset

If you want to reset statistics for all virtual servers, use the following command:

  bigpipe vip stats reset

Use the following syntax to reset statistics for the virtual server IP:Port combination <virtual IP>:<port>.

  bigpipe vip <virtual IP>:<port> stats reset

For example, if you want to reset statistics for the virtual address/port combination 172.20.1.100:80, type the following command:

  bigpipe vip 172.20.1.100:80 stats reset

If you want to reset statistics for a list of virtual address/port combinations, type the command with the list of addresses separated by spaces:

  bigpipe vip 172.20.1.100:80 172.20.1.100:23 172.20.1.101:80 stats 
reset

Resetting statistics for node servers and node addresses

Use the following syntax to reset statistics for all node addresses and node servers.

  bigpipe node stats reset

You can reset statistics for the node address specified by the IP address <node IP>.

  bigpipe node <node IP> stats reset

For example, to reset the statistics for the node address 10.1.1.1, use the following syntax:

  bigpipe node 10.1.1.1 stats reset

If you want to reset statistics for a list of node addresses, type the command with the list of addresses separated by spaces:

  bigpipe node 10.1.1.1 10.1.1.2 10.1.1.3 stats reset

Use the following syntax to reset statistics for the node server specified by the IP:Port combination <node IP>:<port>.

  bigpipe node <node IP>:<port> stats reset

For example, to reset the statistics for the node server 10.1.1.1:80, use the following syntax:

  bigpipe node 10.1.1.1:80 stats reset

If you want to reset statistics for a list of node server addresses, type the command with the list of addresses separated by spaces:

  bigpipe node 10.1.1.1:80 10.1.1.2:23 stats reset

Resetting statistics for virtual ports

Use the following syntax to reset statistics for all virtual ports:

  bigpipe port stats reset

Use the following syntax to reset statistics for the virtual port <port>. You can specify a list of virtual ports separated by spaces.

  bigpipe port <port> stats reset

For example, to reset the statistics for the virtual port 80, use the following command:

  bigpipe port 80 stats reset

To reset the statistics for a list of virtual ports, use the following syntax:

  bigpipe port 23 80 443 stats reset

Resetting statistics for network address translations (NATs)

Use the following syntax to reset statistics for all NATs:

  bigpipe nat stats reset

Use the following syntax to reset statistics for the NAT specified by the IP address <nat IP>.

  bigpipe nat <nat IP> stats reset

For example, to reset the statistics for the NAT 172.20.3.101, use the following command:

  bigpipe nat 172.20.3.101 stats reset

To reset the statistics for a list of NATs, use the following command where NATs are separated by spaces:

  bigpipe nat 172.20.3.101 172.20.3.102 stats reset

Resetting statistics for secure network address translations (SNATs)

Use the following syntax to reset statistics for all SNATs:

  bigpipe snat stats reset

Use the following syntax to reset statistics for the SNAT specified by the IP address <snat IP>.

  bigpipe snat <snat IP> stats reset

For example, to reset the statistics for the SNAT 172.20.3.101, use the following command:

  bigpipe snat 172.20.3.101 stats reset

To reset the statistics for a list of SNATs, use the following command where SNATs are separated by spaces:

  bigpipe snat 172.20.3.101 172.20.3.102 stats reset

Resetting global statistics

Use the following command to reset all statistics for all items.

  bigpipe global stats reset

To reset any statistic in the F5 Configuration utility

A Reset button is located in each of the following tables in the F5 Configuration utility:

  • Virtual address
  • Virtual server
  • Node address
  • Node server
  • Virtual port
  • Network address translations (NATs)
  • Global statistics

    To reset a statistic for a particular item, click the Reset button next to the item in one of these tables.

Viewing the status of the interface cards

The bigpipe interface command displays the current status and the settings for external and internal interface cards. You can also use the bigpipe interface command to view information for a specific interface card, using the following command syntax:

  interface <ifname>

Monitoring virtual servers, virtual addresses, and services

You can use different variations of the bigpipe vip command, as well as the bigpipe port command, to monitor information about virtual servers, virtual addresses, and services managed by the BIG/ip Controller.

Displaying information about virtual servers and virtual addresses

The bigpipe vip command displays the status of virtual servers (up, down, unchecked, or disabled), the current number of connections to each virtual server, and the status of the member nodes that are included in each virtual server mapping. The status for individual member nodes includes whether the node is up, down, unchecked, or disabled, and also includes the cumulative count of packets and bits received and sent by the node on behalf of the virtual server. The BIG/ip Controller displays the statistics as shown in Figure 9.2.

Figure 9.2 Virtual server statistics

 VIP +------> 11.11.11.50         UNIT 1  
| (cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 8, 0, 370)
| (pckts,bits) in = (10704, 8744872), out = (21480, 230874016)
+---+--> PORT http UP
| (cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 8, 0, 370)
| (pckts,bits) in = (10704, 8744872), out = (21480, 230874016)
POOL appgen_11.11.11.50.80
MEMBER 11.12.11.100:http UP
(cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 8, 0, 370)
(pckts,bits) in = (10704, 8744872), out = (21480, 230874016)

VIP +------> 11.11.11.101 UNIT 1
| (cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 2, 0, 4)
| (pckts,bits) in = (4532, 2090768), out = (6824, 82113984)
+---+--> PORT http UP
| (cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 2, 0, 4)
| (pckts,bits) in = (4532, 2090768), out = (6824, 82113984)
POOL my_website_pool
MEMBER 11.12.11.100:http UP
(cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 2, 0, 4)
(pckts,bits) in = (4532, 2090768), out = (6824, 82113984)

If you want to view statistical information about one or more specific virtual servers, simply include the virtual servers in the bigpipe vip show command as shown below:

  bigpipe vip <virt addr>:<port>... <virt addr>:<port> show

If you want to view statistical information about traffic going to one or more virtual addresses, specify only the virtual address information in the command:

  bigpipe vip <virt addr>... <virt addr> show

Displaying information about services

The bigpipe port show command allows you to display information about specific virtual ports managed by the BIG/ip Controller. You can use the command to display information about all virtual services, or you can specify one or more particular virtual services.

To view information about all virtual services, use the following syntax:

  bigpipe port show

To view statistical information about one or more specific virtual services, simply include the service names or port numbers as shown below:

  bigpipe port <port>... <port> show

Monitoring nodes and node addresses

The bigpipe node command displays the status of all nodes configured on the BIG/ip Controller. The information includes whether or not the specified node is up, down, disabled, or unchecked, and the number of cumulative packets and bits sent and received by each node on behalf of all virtual servers. The BIG/ip Controller displays the statistical information as shown in Figure 9.3.

Figure 9.3 Node statistics screen

 NODE 11.12.11.100      UP    
| (cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 8, 0, 374)
| (pckts,bits) in = (15236, 10835640), out = (28304, 312988000)
+- PORT http UP
(cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 8, 0, 374)
(pckts,bits) in = (15236, 10835640), out = (28304, 312988000)

If you want to view statistical information about one or more specific nodes, simply include the nodes in the bigpipe node show command as shown below:

  bigpipe node <node addr>:<port>... <node addr>:<port> show

If you want to view statistical information about traffic going to one or more node addresses, specify only the node address information in the command:

  bigpipe node <node addr>... <node addr> show

Monitoring NATs

The bigpipe nat show command displays the status of the NATs configured on the BIG/ip Controller. The information includes the number of cumulative packets and bits sent and received by each NAT. Use the following command to display the status of all NATs included in the configuration:

  bigpipe nat show

Use the following syntax to display the status of one or more selected NATs:

  bigpipe nat <node addr> [...<node addr>] show

An example of the output for this command is in Figure 9.4.

Figure 9.4 NAT statistics

 NAT { 10.10.10.3 to 9.9.9.9 } 
(pckts,bits) in = (0, 0), out = (0, 0)
NAT { 10.10.10.4 to 12.12.12.12
netmask 255.255.255.0 broadcast 12.12.12.255 }
(pckts,bits) in = (0, 0), out = (0, 0)

Monitoring SNATs

The bigpipe snat show command displays the status of the SNATs configured on the BIG/ip Controller. The information includes connections and global SNAT settings. Use the following bigpipe command to show SNAT mappings:

  bigpipe snat [<SNAT addr>] [...<SNAT addr>] show
  bigpipe snat show

Use the following command to show the current SNAT connections:

  bigpipe snat [<SNAT addr>] [...<SNAT addr>] dump [ verbose ]
  bigpipe snat dump [ verbose ]

The optional verbose keyword provides more detailed output.

The following command prints the global SNAT settings:

  bigpipe snat globals show

Working with the BIG/stat utility

BIG/statTM is a utility that allows you to quickly view the status of the following elements:

  • Virtual servers
  • Services
    (cur, max, limit, tot) (pckts,bits) in out
  • Nodes
    (cur, max, limit, tot) (pckts,bits) in out
  • Ports
  • Network address translations (NATs)

    You can customize the BIG/stat utility statistics display. For example, you can customize your output to display statistics for a single element, or for selected elements. You can set the display to automatically update at time intervals you specify.

    The bigstat command accepts one or more options, which allow you to customize the statistical display. When you use the bigstat command without specifying any options, the BIG/stat utility displays the list of virtual servers, services, nodes, NATs, and SNATs only one time. The basic command syntax is:

  bigstat [ options...]

The following table, Table 9.2, describes the options that you can use in the bigstat command.

The bigstat command options

Option Description
-bigip Displays totals for the BIG/ip Controller overall.
-c <count> Sets the interval at which new information is displayed.
-h and -help Displays the help options.
-n Displays data in numeric format.
-nat Displays network address table (NAT) entries only.
-no_viptot Removes virtual server totals from the display.
-no_nodetot Removes node totals from the display.
-node Displays nodes only.
-port Displays ports only.
-v Displays version information.
-vip Displays virtual servers only.

Figure 9.5 contains an example of the output from the bigstat command. Table contains descriptions of each of the items in this example.

Figure 9.5 Sample output of the bigstat command

 bigip springbank       
(cur, max, tot) = (0, 8, 374)
(pckts,bits) in = (15310, 10860064), out = (28363, 313009048)
vip 11.11.11.50
(cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 8, 370, 370)
(pckts,bits) in = (10704, 8744872), out = (21480, 230874016)
vip 11.11.11.50:http UP
(cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 8, 370, 370)
(pckts,bits) in = (10704, 8744872), out = (21480, 230874016)
vip 11.11.11.101
(cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 2, 4, 4)
(pckts,bits) in = (4532, 2090768), out = (6824, 82113984)
vip 11.11.11.101:http UP
(cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 2, 4, 4)
(pckts,bits) in = (4532, 2090768), out = (6824, 82113984)
node 11.12.11.100 UP
(cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 8, 374, 374)
(pckts,bits) in = (15236, 10835640), out = (28304, 312988000)
node 11.12.11.100:http UP
(cur, max, limit, tot) = (0, 8, 374, 374)
(pckts,bits) in = (15236, 10835640), out = (28304, 312988000)
port WILDCARD PORT
(cur, max, limit, tot, reaped) = (0, 0, 0, 0, 0)
(pckts,bits) in = (0, 0), out = (0, 0)
port 80:http
(cur, max, limit, tot, reaped) = (0, 8, 374, 374, 6)
(pckts,bits) in = (15236, 10835640), out = (28304, 312988000)

The following table contains a descriptions of each of the metrics collected for the BIG/ip Controller.

Data displayed by the bigstat utility

BIG/stat Item Description
BIG/ip Controller cur Shows the number of current connections handled by the BIG/ip Controller max Shows the maximum number of connections handled by the BIG/ip Controller tot Shows the total number of connections handled by the BIG/ip Controller pckts,bits in Shows the total number of packets and bits coming into the BIG/ip Controller pckts,bits out Shows the total number of packets and bits going out of the BIG/ip Controller
virtual server cur Shows the number of current connections handled by the virtual server max Shows the maximum number of connections handled by the virtual server limit Shows the connection limit reached by the virtual server tot Shows the total number of connections handled by the virtual server pckts,bits in Shows the total number of packets and bits coming into the virtual server pckts,bits out Shows the total number of packets and bits going out of the virtual server
service cur Shows the number of current connections handled by the service max Shows the maximum number of connections handled by the service limit Shows the connection limit reached by the service tot Shows the total number of connections handled by the BIG/ip service pckts,bits in Shows the total number of packets and bits coming into the service pckts,bits out Shows the total number of packets and bits going out of the service
nodes cur Shows the number of current connections handled by the node max Shows the maximum number of connections handled by the node limit Shows the connection limit reached by the node tot Shows the total number of connections handled by the BIG/ip node pckts,bits in Shows the total number of packets and bits coming into the node pckts,bits out Shows the total number of packets and bits going out of the node
ports cur Shows the number of current connections handled by the port max Shows the maximum number of connections handled by the port limit Shows the connection limit reached by the port tot Shows the total number of connections handled by the BIG/ip port reaped Shows the number of connections reaped on the port pckts,bits in Shows the total number of packets and bits coming into the port pckts,bits out Shows the total number of packets and bits going out of the port

Working with the BIG/top utility

BIG/topTM is a real-time statistics display utility. The display shows the date and time of the latest reboot and lists activity in bits, bytes, or packets. Similar to BIG/stat, the BIG/top utility accepts options which allow you to customize the display of information. For example, you can set the interval at which the data is refreshed, and you can specify a sort order. The BIG/top displays the statistics as shown in the following figure, Figure 9.6.

Figure 9.6 The BIG/top screen display

                    |  bits  since       |  bits in prior     |   current 
| Nov 28 18:47:50 | 3 seconds | time
BIG/ip ACTIVE |---In----Out---Conn-|---In----Out---Conn-| 00:31:59
227.19.162.82 1.1G 29.6G 145 1.6K 0 0

VIP ip:port |---In----Out---Conn-|---In----Out---Conn-|-Nodes Up--
217.87.185.5:80 1.0G 27.4G 139.6K 1.6K 0 0 2
217.87.185.5:20 47.5M 2.1G 3.1K 0 0 0 2
217.87.185.5:20 10.2M 11.5M 2.6K 0 0 0 2

NODE ip:port |---In----Out---Conn-|---In----Out---Conn-|--State----
129.186.40.17:80 960.6M 27.4G 69.8K 672 0 0 UP
129.186.40.17:20 47.4M 2.1G 3.1K 0 0 0 UP
129.186.40.18:80 105.3M 189.0K 69.8K 1.0K 0 0 UP
129.186.40.17.21 9.4M 11.1M 1.3K 0 0 0 UP
129.186.40.18:21 700.8K 414.7K 1.3K 0 0 0 UP
129.186.40.18:20 352 320 1 0 0 0 UP

Using BIG/top command options

The bigtop command uses the syntax below, and it supports the options outlined in Table 9.4:

  bigtop  [options...]

BIG/top command options


OptionDescription
-bytes Displays counts in bytes (the default is bits).
-conn Sorts by connection count (the default is to sort by byte count).
-delay <value> Sets the interval at which data is refreshed (the default is four seconds).
-delta Sorts by count since last sample (the default is to sort by total count).
-help Displays BIG/top help.
-nodes <value> Sets the number of nodes to print (the default is to print all nodes).
-nosort Disables sorting.
-once Prints the information once and exits.
-pkts Displays the counts in packets (the default is bits).
-scroll Disables full-screen mode.
-vips <value> Sets the number of virtual servers to print (the default is to print all virtual servers).

Using runtime commands in BIG/top

Unless you specified the -once option, the BIG/top utility continually updates the display at the rate indicated by the -delay option, and you can also use the following runtime options at any time:

  • The u option cycles through the display modes; bits, bytes, and packets.
  • The q option quits the BIG/top utility.

Working with the Syslog utility

The BIG/ip Controller supports logging via the Syslog utility. The logs are generated automatically, and saved in user-specified files. These logs contain all changes made to the BIG/ip Controller configuration, such as those made with the bigpipe vip command, or other BIG/pipe commands, as well as all critical events that occur in the system.

Note: You can configure the Syslog utility to send email or activate pager notification based on the priority of the logged event.

The Syslog log files track system events based on information defined in the /etc/syslog.conf file. You can view the log files in a standard text editor, or with the less file page utility.

Sample log messages

Table 9.5 shows sample log messages give you an idea of how the Syslog utility tracks events that are specific to the BIG/ip Controller.

Sample Syslog messages

Sample message Description
bigd: allowing connections on port 20 A user specifically allowed connections on virtual port 20
bigd: node 192.168.1.1 detected up The 192.168.1.1 node address was successfully pinged by the BIG/ip Controller
bigd: added service port 20 to node 192.168.1.1 A user defined a new node, 192.168.1.1:20.
kernel: security: port denial 207.17.112.254:4379 -> 192.168.1.1:23 A client was denied access to a specific port. The client is identified as coming from 207.17.112.254:4379, and the destination node is 192.168.1.1:23.

Removing and returning items to service

Once you have completed the initial configuration on the BIG/ip Controller, you may want to temporarily remove specific items from service for maintenance purposes. For example, if a specific network server needs to be upgraded, you may want to disable the nodes associated with that server, and then enable them once you finish installing the new hardware and bring the server back online.

If you specifically disable the nodes associated with the server, the BIG/ip Controller allows the node to go down only after all the current connections are complete. During this time, the BIG/ip Controller does not attempt to send new connections to the node. Although the BIG/ip Controller's monitoring features would eventually determine that the nodes associated with the server are down, specifically removing the nodes from service can prevent interruptions on long duration client connections.

You can remove the entire BIG/ip Controller from service, or you can remove the following individual items from service:

  • Virtual servers
  • Virtual addresses
  • Virtual ports
  • Nodes
  • Node addresses

Removing the BIG/ip Controller from service

The BIG/ip platform offers a Maintenance mode, which allows you to remove the BIG/ip Controller from network service. This is useful if you want to perform hardware maintenance, or make extensive configuration changes. When you activate Maintenance mode, the BIG/ip Controller no longer accepts connections to the virtual servers it manages. However, the existing connections are allowed to finish processing so that current clients are not interrupted.

The bigpipe maint command toggles the BIG/ip Controller into or out of Maintenance mode. Use the following command to put the BIG/ip Controller in maintenance mode:

  bigpipe maint

If the BIG/ip Controller runs in Maintenance mode for less than 20 minutes and you return the machine to the normal service, the BIG/ip Controller quickly begins accepting connections. However, if the BIG/ip Controller runs in Maintenance mode for more than 20 minutes, returning the Controller to service involves updating all network ARP caches. This process can take a few seconds, but you can speed the process up by reloading the /etc/bigip.conf file using the following command:

  bigpipe -f /etc/bigip.conf

To activate maintenance mode in the F5 Configuration utility

  1. In the navigation pane, click the BIG/ip logo.
    The BIG/ip System Properties screen opens.
  2. Click the Maintenance Mode box.
  3. Click on the Apply button.

Removing individual virtual servers, virtual addresses, and ports from service

The BIG/ip Controller also supports taking only selected virtual servers, addresses, or ports out of service, rather than removing the BIG/ip Controller itself from service. Each BIG/pipe command that defines virtual servers and their components supports enable and disable keywords, which allow you to remove or return the elements from service.

When you remove a virtual address or a virtual port from service, it affects all virtual servers associated with the virtual address or virtual port. Similarly, if you remove a node address from service, it affects all nodes associated with the node address.

Enabling and disabling virtual servers and virtual addresses

The bigpipe vip command allows you to enable or disable individual virtual servers, as well as virtual addresses. To enable or disable a virtual server, type the appropriate command:

  bigpipe vip <virtual addr>:<virtual port> enable
  bigpipe vip <virtual addr>:<virtual port> disable

To enable or disable a virtual address, type the appropriate command:

  bigpipe vip <virtual addr> enable
  bigpipe vip <virtual addr> disable

Enabling and disabling virtual ports

The bigpipe port command allows you to allow or deny traffic on a virtual port:

  bigpipe port <virtual port> enable
  bigpipe port <virtual port> disable

Removing individual nodes and node addresses from service

Enabling and disabling nodes and node addresses

The bigpipe node command allows you to enable or disable individual nodes, as well as node addresses.

To enable or disable a node, type the appropriate command:

  bigpipe node <node addr>:<node port> enable
  bigpipe node <node addr>:<node port> disable

To enable or disable a node address, type the appropriate command:

  bigpipe node <node addr> enable
  bigpipe node <node addr> disable

Viewing the currently defined virtual servers and nodes

When used with the show parameter, BIG/pipe commands typically display currently configured elements. For example, the bigpipe vip show command displays all currently defined virtual servers, and the bigpipe node command displays all nodes currently included in virtual server mappings. For additional information about using BIG/pipe commands on the BIG/ip Controller, see the BIG/ip Reference Guide, BIG/pipe Command Reference.

Viewing system statistics and log files

The F5 Configuration utility allows you to view a variety of system statistics and system log files. Note that from each statistics screen, you can access property settings for individual virtual servers, nodes, IP addresses, and ports by selecting the individual item in the statistics table.

Viewing system statistics

The F5 Configuration utility allows you to view the following statistical information:

  • BIG/ip system statistics, including the elapsed time since the last system reboot, the number of packets and connections handled by the system, and the number of dropped connections.
  • Virtual servers, including virtual servers, virtual address only, or virtual ports only.
  • Nodes, including nodes, node addresses only, or node ports only.
  • NAT statistics, such as the number of packets handled by each NAT.
  • SNAT statistics, such as SNAT mappings.
  • IP filter statistics, including the number of packets accepted and rejected by individual IP filters.
  • Rate filter statistics, including the number of bits passed through, delayed, and dropped by individual rate filters.
  • Information about illegal connection attempts, such as the source IP addresses from which the illegal connection is initiated.

    Statistics are displayed in real-time. You can specify the update frequency by setting an interval (in seconds), and then clicking Update.

Viewing log files

The F5 Configuration utility allows you to display three different log files:

  • The BIG/ip system log, which displays standard UNIX system events
  • The BIG/ip log, which displays information specific to BIG/ip events, such as defining a virtual server
  • The Pinger log, which displays status information determined by each node ping issued by the BIG/ip Controller

Printing the connection table

The BIG/pipe command line utility also offers a useful diagnostic tool that prints the list of current connections. Normally, the bigpipe conn command prints the client, virtual server, and node addresses.

Changing passwords for the BIG/ip Controller

During the First-Time Boot utility, you define a password that allows remote access to the BIG/ip Controller, and you also define a password for the BIG/ip web server. You can change these passwords at any time.

Changing the BIG/ip Controller password

  1. At the BIG/ip Controller command line prompt, log on as the root user and use the passwd command.
  2. At the password prompt, enter the password you want to use for the BIG/ip Controller and press Return.
  3. To confirm the password, retype it and press Return.

Changing passwords and adding new user IDs for the BIG/ip web server

You can create new users for the BIG/ip web server in the F5 Configuration utility.

Creating new users for the BIG/ip web server

The user accounts you create in the F5 Configuration utility can have full, partial, or read-only access to the BIG/ip Controller.

To create user accounts in the F5 Configuration utility

  1. In the navigation pane, click User Admin.
    The User Administration screen opens.
  2. In the Add User section, type the following information.

    · User ID
    Type the user ID you want to assign the user.

    · Password
    Type the password you want to assign the user.

    · Retype Password
    Retype the password you want to assign the user.

  3. In the Access Level list, select the access level for the user. The access levels available are:

    · Read Only
    This access level allows the user only to view information in the F5 Configuration utility. Users with this access level do not have access to Add buttons, certain toolbar items, Apply buttons, or Remove buttons.

    · Partial Read/Write
    In addition to allowing the user to view information, a Partial Read/Write user can also change the status of node addresses to either enabled or disabled.

    · Full Read/Write
    This access level provides the user with full access to all administrative tasks.

  4. After you select the access level for the user, click the Add button.

    The Current User list on the User Administration screen contains all users configured to access the F5 Configuration utility. You can delete any user added through the F5 Configuration utility by clicking the Remove button next to the user in the list. The BIG/ip web server administrator account you created with the First-Time Boot utility shows up in this list. However, you cannot edit or delete this account from the F5 Configuration utility. To edit this account, you must run the reconfig-httpd command line utility. For more information about this utility, see the BIG/ip Controller Reference Guide, BIG/ip Controller Configuration Utilities.

Working with the BIG/db database

The BIG/dbTM database holds certain configuration information for the BIG/ip Controller. Most BIG/ip Controller utilities currently use the configuration stored in BIG/db. The bigdba utility is provided for loading configuration information into BIG/db. An additional default.txt file is included with the BIG/ip Controller which contains default information you can load into the BIG/db database.

Using bigdba

Use the bigdba utility to modify the keys in the BIG/db database. The bigdba utility allows you to edit the database and insert and modify keys and values. All values are entered into BIG/db as strings.

Accessing and modifying the default database

The default BIG/db database is created when you run the First-Time Boot utility. To use bigdba from the command line run bigdba with the name of the database.

  bigdba
  Database "/var/f5/bigdb/user.db" opened.

Using bigdba commands

Table 9.6 describes the commands you can use in the bigdba utility.

The bigdba commands

Command Description

subkey <string>
sk <string>

Add subkey to current key level

p <name>
p <regex>

Print the value stored at <name>. If you use a regular expression <regex>, all records under the current subkey which match the regular expression print.

up

Back up one subkey

up <string>

Back up through subkey <string>
d <string>
d <regex>
Delete value stored under current key <string>. If you use a regular expression <regex>, all records under the current subkey which match the regular expression are deleted.
<name> = <value> Store <value> under name <name> within the current key
set confirm on Confirm delete operations
set confirm off Do not confirm deletions
set comments on Show comments. By default, comments are off
set comments off Do not show comments. By default, comments are off
dump <file> Dumps the database to the file name specified
load <file> Loads the database with the file specified
quit
q
EOF
Quits the bigdba utility
help
?
Display the help text for the bigdba utility

Working with the default.txt file

The default.txt file documents the keys that are valid in the BIG/store database. This file is located at /var/f5/bigdb/default.txt. This text file, which can be loaded with the bigdba program, contains all the possible database keys, comments that document these keys, and the default values used by programs that run on the BIG/ip Controller.

Note: The values in the default.txt file are default values, several of the keys listed are not present in the BIG/db database.

The default.txt file is intended to serve as documentation only. Some of the records, such as those that represent IP addresses and port numbers, need to be set to values other than the default values for the system to work. Additionally, some of the key names listed are wildcard keys. These keys are not valid key names.

If you want to load default.txt into the BIG/db database, it is recommended that you dump the existing database to another text file. Make a copy of default.txt, and then edit the copy so that the records which are present in your dump file match the values contained in the default.txt file. After the values match, you can load the edited copy of default.txt.

For a complete list of the keys available in the BIG/db, see the BIG/ip Controller Reference Guide, BIG/db Configuration Keys.

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